Lakers-Trail Blazers Game 3 Gets NBACast Saturday Spotlight
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A pivotal Game 3 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers tips off Saturday night inside the NBA Bubble at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The Blazers will try to both keep LeBron James off his game and prove their Game 1 victory was more than a fleeting upset. The Lakers, meanwhile, would not complain if Anthony Davis replicated his Game 2 dominance — as long as Davis got a bit more help from the self-proclaimed roundball monarch .
NBA betting devotees can second-screen the game in real time on the Bookies.com-sponsored #NBACast, co-hosted by NBA experts Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux.
The #NBACast offers live, in-game analysis, up-to-the second breakout stats and — as always — both hosts will take your in-game questions. Play begins at approximately 8:35 p.m. ET. The game will also air on ABC. Fans can follow the #NBACast on YouTube, via Twitch or on Twitter/Periscope at @NateDuncanNBA.
LeBron, AD and the Lakers are favored by 7.5 points Saturday and sit at -310 on the moneyline at PointsBet, while the Trail Blazers are at solid +250 at Caesars. The over/under is 224.5. You can get complete Lakers-Blazers odds here.
RELATED: Check out our NBA expert picks for Saturday’s action and bookmark the page for our free NBA picks every day of the playoffs.
Looking Back At Game 2
James shot 36% for the Lakers and scored a paltry 10 points in Game 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night. Those 10 points were the fewest James scored in his 241 career playoff starts. (Also, James has 241 career playoff starts!?!?!)
Davis was a “unicorn” in Game 2, according to James, and scored 31 points and hit 13 of 21 shots while stacking 11 rebounds.
Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, easily the most-explosive player in the Bubble thus far, dislocated his left index finger in the third quarter of Game 2. X-rays were negative. When asked after Game 2 about his status for Saturday, Lillard told reporters via video chat: "Oh, I'm playing." He will likely be wearing a splint, however.
Lillard averaged 37.6 points and 9.6 assists during his team’s seeding games in Orlando. He’s had 18 points when he left Game 2 after scoring 34 points in Game 1.
The Lakers’ decisive victory in Game 2 delivered a much greater impact than Portland’s rout in Game 1. It was both anticipated and impressive. Its magnitude was even greater given James’ minor role on the stat sheet. While James seemingly took off much of the night, the Lakers responded with a franchise-playoff-record 14 three-pointers.
Lakers Slip Slightly In Futures Markets
Bettors willing to back the Lakers at any price can find encouragement in James’ words after Game 2, in which he lauded his teammates for their “work ethic.” The King was pleased his court picked up his game when it was sputtering.
The Lakers quickly locked down the No. 1 seed in the West during the seeding round and played as if they forgot the playoffs began in Game 1. The NBA futures betting markets for the Lakers have shifted south since this experiment in basketball began more than three weeks ago.
The Lakers are now +200 to win the Western Conference at William Hill, the second choice behind the Clippers at +130, and +360 to win the NBA Finals. They are behind both the Clippers (+260) and Milwaukee Bucks (+280) in that market. The Blazers are +2500 to win the West and +4000 to win the NBA Finals.
The Lakers are -286 to advance out of the first round at DraftKings, while the Blazers are +286 to pull off the series upset.